NEWS FLASH: winters in Montana are cold. You may have seen our state on a TV show or a Instagram post and said, "Oh that looks so beautiful! I want to live there soooooo bad!" Well, if you buy the ticket, you gotta ride the ride...

Credit: Benny Ediwn
Credit: Benny Edwin
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Yes it's pretty here. Good luck driving on ice.

Living (and driving) in Montana during the winter months is a challenge. I bought a few things at a Missoula hardware store for under $60 that you can keep in your trunk during winter. They could help you not lose your cool!

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Windshield Cover - $30

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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I cannot stress how much I've appreciated this thing during the winter. Every night, go home after work, pull it out and wrap your windshield in protection from icing over. Montanans who have lived here for several winters could regale us with tales of how the snow and ice accumulation on your windshield in the morning was inches thick...not with this thing.

I wouldn't do this for every time I parked during the day, but at night it's a game-changer for getting the ride ready for get to work.

Windshield De-Icer - $4.50

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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If you don't want to haul around a big blanket for your car or truck, a can of this stuff comes in handy for those days when you don't want to waste gas just to defrost your windshield. (gas is expensive, ammirite?) For $5 it will get rid of the ice on your windshield.

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Jae Young Ju / Getty Images
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SIDE NOTE: I've seen some people who will fill a squirt bottle with salt water and carry that around to deice their windshields, but car exteriors don't respond well to salt. Too many errant sprays can damage your paint, just like these wheel wells that have seen too many salted roads.

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Lock De-Icer - $3.50

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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A while back, my car remote key fob malfunctioned, and rather than pay $400 to get it replaced and programmed to my car from the dealership, I carry a key like it's 1985. This means that the only way to get in my locked car doors (well, the only way without breaking a window) is to use the key in the lock.

Carrying this stuff around is peace of mind, even if you use a key fob with remote unlock/start/trunk release, etc. It may mean the difference between calling a tow truck to get your door open and not having to.

A Wool Blanket - $20

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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One of those "better to have it and not need it..." things to have in your trunk. The chances of using it may not be great but just in case your car breaks down and it'll be an hour to wait until the tow truck gets here, you'll be happy you're packing it.

Mine is wool, not polyester or microfiber. If it was good enough to keep on a saddle 100 years ago, it's good enough to keep in your trunk. I got this one from a garage sale.

There you have it, we came in under budget at $58. And now we'll look at some things that you probably already have to make winter life in Montana easier...

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7 Items You'll Need To Survive A Missoula Winter

Don't get caught without these items during the winter in Missoula.